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Board of Education Meeting Highlights - October 11, 2022

An overview of discussion items and major decisions of the Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake). For meeting agendas/minutes and a schedule of upcoming board meetings visit our meetings page.

Enrolment Increase

Enrolment has increased overall by about 92 students in the district compared to the 2021-2022 school year. This total includes a decrease of 73 students enrolled in the Elev8 and Homelinks online learning programs as more students and their families have chosen to return to face-to-face learning. The total enrolment numbers do not include 64 students who are in a homeschool program delivered by parents. 

Determination of Designations and Supports for Students with Special Needs

Director of Instruction – Equity, Inclusion & Reconciliation, Diana Holitzki presented to the board on the topic of Inclusive Education.

The Ministry of Education and Child Care directs school districts to provide students with designated special needs an educational program in a classroom where students are integrated with other students who are not designated as having special needs. Supplemental funding may be provided to districts whose students meet specific designations and all SD8 staff and educators fully support students to achieve their IEP goals toward graduation.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Initiatives

Director of Instruction – Equity, Inclusion & Reconciliation, Diana Holitzki presented to the board on the topic of SOGI as well as gender neutral initiatives within the district. Director Holitzki pointed out to the board that October is National 2SLGBTQ+ History Month.

SOGI is an inclusive term that applies to all people as every person has a sexual orientation they identify with. SOGI celebrates our diversity and teaches about human rights. A SOGI curriculum does not exist on its own but is embedded in all subjects and areas taught.

SD8 is dedicated to providing a safe environment for all students regardless of their gender identity. The main objective of inclusion through SOGI initiatives is that everyone can feel safe, respected, welcome in school and in society, and learn in an environment where all students can thrive.

Foundations Skills Assessment

District Principal – Early Years & Elementary Learning, Naomi Ross presented information about Foundation Skills Assessments (FSAs). The Foundation Skills Assessment is an annual province-wide assessment of British Columbia students' academic skills and provides a snapshot of how students are progressing in the foundational areas of literacy and numeracy.

Participation rates in FSAs have increased across SD8 when compared to previous years and with increasing participation, data is becoming more reliable and accurate. In 2021-2022, Indigenous students in SD8 achieved literacy and numeracy levels above the provincial average whereas students overall and students with diverse needs below the provincial average in FSA literacy and numeracy measures. However, the increasing accuracy and reliability of FSA data means SD8 has valuable information about where to focus its efforts to bring student achievement levels up to and beyond the provincial average in 2022-2023 and beyond.

This information is reported to the Ministry of Education and Child Care through Continuous Learning Reports including the annual Enhancing Student Learning Report completed in June.

Remembrance Day Schedule

Remembrance Day ceremonies are held on the school day immediately preceding Remembrance Day on November 11. School staff take this time to ensure our past continues to be remembered at each stage of a student’s life. Trustees are invited by school principals to attend local school ceremonies.

Two New Board Authority Authorized (BAA) Courses Approved

BAA courses are locally developed and allow students to earn elective credits towards graduation while allowing school district boards of education to offer courses relevant to their communities to meet student needs and interests. 

The Board of Education approved two new BAA courses this year: Braille 10 and Orientation and Mobility 11. These two courses meet requirements set by the Ministry of Education and Child Care.  

Budget Update

Secretary-Treasurer Johan Glaudemans provided a budget update that focused on the impact of increased student enrolment on the budget and the estimated correlating increase in provincial funding based on that enrolment. SD8 estimates it will receive addition provincial funding of approximately $1.3 million. This money will first go to student needs including additional staff and teachers in schools and classrooms to instruct the additional students. Other cost pressures including inflation and high energy prices will use some of these funds. This surplus is still below the recommended budget surplus of 3% the district is aiming for.

Student and Family Affordability Fund

Superintendent Trish Smillie provided information to the board about the Ministry of Education and Child Care Student and Family Affordability Fund to assist families with rising food costs and costs of goods and services. The district has been allocated $553,554 to be spent by June 30, 2023 and cannot be used for purposes other than to:

  • Improve students’ access to nutritional food/meals before, during and after school
  • Directly offset costs to parents/guardians, and students, such as school supplies and other cost pressures that they are facing using existing hardship policies.

SD8 has a hardship policy and administrative procedure that will guide the distribution of the funds.

 These highlights exclude confidential information such as business negotiations, personnel issues and legal matters. For other information or to provide feedback, please contact our Public Engagement Manager at 250-505-7005 or

About the Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake):

The Board of Education of School District No. 8 provides educational services to numerous diverse communities in the East & West Kootenays, including Crawford Bay, Creston, Kaslo, Meadow Creek, Nelson, Salmo, Slocan, South Slocan, Winlaw, Wynndel and Yahk. Its dedicated team focuses on providing the best possible educational opportunities for over 4,700 students and their families. Its mission is to focus on excellence for all learners in a nurturing environment.